NBA superstar Lebron James is parting ways with Coca Cola Co and is reportedly set to back a rival brand, according to news out of the United States.
According to Front Office Sports, James is poised to join an expanding group of NBA and WNBA stars pitching the rebranded Mountain Dew, ‘MTN DEW’, which reportedly includes Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans, Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers, Jamal Murray of the Denver Nuggets, and A’ja Wilson of the Las Vegas Aces.
James will become the face of MTN DEW’s new ‘Rise Energy’ line after nearly 18 years as an endorser for Coca-Cola’s Sprite and Powerade brands, sources told Front Office Sports.
Moreover, the 36-year could also pitch Pepsi’s flagship cola brand, the outlet reported.
In a statement shared with multiple sources, Coca Cola confirmed it is ending its longstanding relationship with the NBA superstar.
“LeBron’s contract came up at a time when both he and The Coca-Cola Company were actively reviewing all of its resources to make sure it was investing in places that ensured long-term growth,” the company stated.
“After many discussions with Lebron and his team, we mutually agreed to part ways.”
PepsiCo took over from Coca-Cola Co. as an NBA sponsor in 2015, a deal which ended Coke’s 28-year partnership with the NBA. Representatives for PepsiCo and James have not offered comment.
According to Ad Age, Coca-Cola is undertaking a marketing overhaul that includes putting all of its advertising and media agency account into review.
The beverage giant is also sitting out the Super Bowl this year, for only the second time since 2006, Ad Age reported.
PepsiCo will also not promote its flagship beverage with a commercial at the Super Bowl, instead replacing its traditional ad slot with a new campaign to lead in to its halftime show at the game featuring The Weeknd, CNBC reported.
Mtn Dew and Frito-Lay, which are both owned by PepsiCo, have plans for in-game ads.
This year reportedly marks the 10-year anniversary of Pepsi’s sponsorship of the Super Bowl’s halftime show.
Featured image source: Flickr/All-Pro Reels. ‘LeBron James John Wall’ is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.
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